NSW joins new identity model

James Riley
Editorial Director

The NSW Government has signed up to the Commonwealth’s federated model for digital identity even before detail of the new scheme has been made public, or even been put to the Federal Cabinet.

Should the plan go ahead, this means a citizen in New South Wales should be able to access Commonwealth services online through their NSW Government MyService login.

Among other things, this would enable seamless online movement between jurisdictions, meaning it should become possible to apply for an ABN number from the Commonwealth and a business licence from the State in a single end-to-end transaction.

Martin Hoffman: NSW is moving ahead with its digital service delivery infrastructure

It also blurs the lines of service delivery between the Australian Government and the State governments. This wrinkle-free movement of data and services between the jurisdictions has been discussed for more than a year.

In fact, NSW has pushed hard for its MyServiceNSW identity system to be valid for Commonwealth services, but has been held at arm’s length while the Australian Government has played catch-up.

The Secretary to the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Martin Hoffman told a CEDA conference yesterday that this month the MyServiceNSW system had surpassed 750,000 accounts, and will shortly have exceeded its first year targets by more than 50 per cent.

NSW is a clear leader in the digital delivery of government services in Australia.

“We have committed to interact with the DTO for the Commonwealth view of a federated identity model,” Mr Hoffman said.

“And they [the Commonwealth] are very keen to use the myService account, given we have already got started,” he said.

The federated identity model being proposed by the DTO would enable it to leverage the work of other jurisdictions. It is understood to have proposed an ‘opt-in’ model for citizens. By cooperating with NSW, it will have access to 750,000 NSW account holders who are already using the state’s system.

Mr Hoffman said the NSW Government would also collaborate with the Commonwealth on its Digital Marketplace project. The project aims to let government agencies identify digital specialists for services like web performance analysis, UX design and transformation advisory services.

NSW is the first state to offer its support for the DTO project, which it says will be fully compliant with NSW Government procurement policies.

Meanwhile, NSW already has its digital marketplace – called GovDC Marketplace – which is available to any government organisation or agency anywhere in Australia.

Mr Hoffman said the GovDC moniker originally meant “Government Data Centre”, and referenced the consolidation of the state’s large number of data centres into just two. With that project complete – and NSW having moved on to the next level of digital services delivery – the GovDC name now refers to the “Government Digital Community.”

“The [GovDC] Marketplace brings agency demand and industry supply together, where best-of-breed ICT companies can offer ICT as a service to government organisations,” Mr Hoffman said.

“And that GovDC Marketplace is available to any government organisation, any agency and non-profit organisation anywhere in Australia. They can access ICT as a service without the upfront capital expenditure,” he said.

“And they can be confident that any issues of data security, sovereignty, technical standards and procurement policies have already been dealt with.

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